Topic Overview

Expectant management, or observation, is sometimes used to
manage complications of a high-risk pregnancy. Depending on the severity of
preeclampsia, you may need expectant management at
home or in the hospital.

Expectant management at home requires
reduced activity and careful checking and daily recording of:

  • Fetal activity.
  • Blood pressure
  • Urine protein measurement.
  • Weight.

The daily log of symptoms and measurements is combined with
frequent (usually twice weekly) checks at the doctor’s office.

Being on expectant management may mean you are
advised to stop working, reduce your activity level, or possibly spend a lot of
time resting (partial bed rest). Although partial bed rest is considered
reasonable treatment for preeclampsia, its effectiveness is not proved for
treating mild preeclampsia.footnote 1 It is known that strict
bed rest may raise your risk of developing a blood clot in the legs or

Expectant management in the hospital requires some bed rest
and includes more frequent electronic and laboratory monitoring of the mother
and fetus.

Related Information



  1. Sibai BM (2003). Diagnosis and management of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 102(1): 191-192.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer William Gilbert, MD – Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Current as ofMarch 16, 2017